Inspiring women of color
February is flying by. That’s good news for our world when we’re all still living on pause waiting for our lives to be safe again, but it’s kind of a bummer because it’s Black History Month. And I don’t want it to be over!
After all the important anti-racist conversations we started last year, this Black History Month has felt especially powerful for me — and probably for you, too. But I really don’t want us to lose focus when February ends.
So I’m using my Insta to help myself stay focused! I’ve been following more and more inspiring women of color and now my feed is a seriously awesome place to get educated, challenged, and motivated! If you want to join me, here are five women I totally recommend following.
Blair Imani (@blairimani)
Historian, Educator, Author, and Public Speaker
Blair stands at the center of it all. As a Black, bisexual, Islamic woman, she’s no stranger to the ways society wanted her to conform by changing who she innately is. Instead of bending to that pressure, Blair has arisen as a loud, encouraging voice for the change we need.
If you want to dig into her work (which I definitely recommend), her books are: Modern HERstory: Stories of Women and Nonbinary People Rewriting History and Making Our Way Home: The Great Migration and the Black American Dream. But if your to-read list is already a mile long, don’t sweat. Blair uses Insta, YouTube, and TikTok as powerful platforms. Tune in with her there! Blair is one of those truly inspiring women of color who’s using her voice for some serious good.
Brianna Patrice (@briannepatrice / @sadgirlsclub)
Executive Director of Sad Girls Club & Owner of Twenty Nine Thirty
Man, thank GOODNESS the tides have changed. Now, when we celebrate Black History Month, we really dig in. And other positive changes have come as we move toward our best selves, like more conversations about mental health.
Sad Girls Club blends both, holding space for women of color (and everyone, really) who live with mental health challenges. And as their Executive Director and Editor-in-Chief, Brianna has been integral in making Sad Girls Club what it is today.
And that’s not all! She’s also the founder of Twenty Nine Thirty, which Brianna says is “a restorative community connecting the dots between sensuality, sexuality, healing, and wellness.” You know we all need that!
Oh, and if you’re a mama, particularly a new mother, you should check out Brianna’s blogs for Sad Girls Club.
Candace Reels (@candacereels)
Creator of the Female Collective
As a self-love advocate, you know I’m tuned in with Candace during this Lots of Love Challenge! Seriously, her Insta posts will give you the wake up call you need to check in and give yourself some positive attention.
Candace is also an intersectional feminist, which means she’s out there fighting for women’s equality while holding space for all the different ways inequalities overlap (or intersect — get it?) Intersectional feminism acknowledges that as a white woman, I’m disadvantaged by my sex but advantaged by my race, while Candace faces inequalities on both fronts there. With intersectional feminism, she helps us have a bigger, more real conversation about the ways that things like sex, race, religion, sexual orientation, and more affect the way we treat each other.
And she’s doing all of this with a heaping helping of self-love? Count me in! No wonder she made our list for inspiring women of color to follow!
Ijeoma Oluo (@ijeomaoluo)
NYT best-selling author
Honestly, the chances are pretty high that you’ve already read some of Ijeoma’s stuff. She calls herself an “Internet Yeller” and has written for Elle, TIME, NBC News, and more. She’s not afraid to call it as she sees it (I mean, hello, one of her books is called Mediocre: The Dangerous Legacy of White Male America) and she uses her Insta as a platform for important conversations. I’ve definitely felt challenged by some of her posts, in a good way!
She also self-published The Badass Feminist Coloring Book — featuring even more inspiring women of color! — if you’re looking for a way to decompress while feeling empowered.
Monique Melton (@moemotivate)
Educator, Author, Artist, Host of Shine Brighter Together Podcast
Monique’s whole Insta is pretty much quotes from her, so it’s a seriously amazing way to tune in with her brilliant mind! As an anti-racism educator, she’s able to put things into words in just the right way. Her posts are inspiring, thought-provoking, and motivating. Following her on Insta keeps me wanting to do the work of anti-racism every single day! Which is key because this is a journey, guys, and we need to keep pushing for greater equalities.
And if you’re into podcasts, add Shine Brighter Together to your list! She just wrapped Season 2 and you can get all of both seasons’ episodes on her website.
Just writing about these inspiring women of color has me super pumped up to keep doing this work! I love Black History Month because it’s a challenge and an opportunity to do better, to check our own prejudices and speak up for equality. But I don’t want us to lose steam when February ends!
Seriously, girls, please go follow these inspiring women of color and anyone else who educates and motivates you to make our world better. We have the chance to make some serious strides forward right now, but it’s going to require all of us coming together and keeping our focus. Make your Insta into a place where you’re getting regular reminders that our work isn’t over yet!